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ASU v. Cal: Blogging at the Quarters

Posted by Steve | October 4, 2008 at 1:40 pm | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Since I opted out of buying last minute tickets to the game and making the trek back to Berkeley for the game, a choice I am increasingly regretting, I shall make an attempt at posting periodically throughout the game.

2nd Quarter, 12:30 remaining, 10-0 17-0 Cal:

  • Big announcement of the day: Nate Longshore is back in at starter.  Jeff Tedford has been worried about the slow starts the Cal Offense has been having as of late, sighting troubles managing the game in the huddle, as well as some rather poor throws in the last two games.  Those at the stadium were actually in for a big surprise, as Riley was accidentally announced over the PA as the starter.
  • Despite Best being injured, the offense has looked quite sharp.  Longshore for the most part has been sharp, despite the bonehead INT on the apparently failed screen.
  • Although the offense has been steadily moving down the field, its been much more of a slower-paced, controlled game.  With previous games, there was always that edge, that feeling that the next play could go all the way.  The offense today, both in play calling and execution, seems to be just trying to wear down the Arizona defense.  Very few looks down the field, lots of backfield and short passes.  Look for a big play down the field soon, its long overdue.
  • The defense is playing outstanding.  Two forced fumbles, one recovered, a couple huge sacks on 3rd down.  ASU hasn’t had very much yardage yet, either in the air or on the ground, however we’ve barely seen Keegan Herring play yet
  • Cal is scoring as I write, to go up 17-0.  Go Bears!  Keep up the defense now.

Halftime, 17-7 Cal:

  • ASU had one good drive, capped off by a 30 yard uncontested touchdown pass.  Main difference on this drive was control of the line.  ASU provided much more protection for Rudy Carpenter, and when given that much time to throw the ball, he did well finding receivers down the field.  The key for the rest of the game will be to keep up the pressure and force Carpenter to get rid of the ball early or throw it away.
  • Punt and kickoff coverage has been helping out a lot with field position, pinning ASU deep within their territory most of the time.
  • Have yet to see good kick returns for the Bears.  Darian Hagan hasn’t been able to hit holes like Best does, and Sydquan Thompson has been dancing around too much rather than running vertical.
  • ASU is very much still in the game, especially as they should receive the second half kickoff.  The Bears have to keep up the pressure on Carpenter on defense, and keep grinding down the field and scoring on offense.

End of 3rd Quarter, 24-14 Cal:

  • Leaping?  Really?  Personal foul 15 yards?  Thats a pretty ridiculous penalty/call.  I don’t know the specifics of the rule, but ESPN says its for “jumping onto the line”, but to me, it looked like the player jumped straight up, and somebody ran under him.  Anyway, if they’re going to be sticklers and call that, why didn’t they call a penalty on the TD on the offensive line for a “Bush Push”?
  • Hagan needs to hold on to the ball.  The Bears lucked out that his fumble on the kickoff went out of bounds.
  • Offense seems to have slowed down.  Although they did manage a TD, that was on a short field due to the interception by Conte.

Speaking of Blinn College…

Posted by Alex | June 17, 2008 at 11:16 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments reports that Jarred Price, a 5′10″ 215 lbs weakside LB has signed with Cal out of Blinn College.  Price currently plays DE for Blinn, but projects to be a LB at the Division I level.  He becomes the second Blinn player to sign with Cal in the past week.

It seems as if Price might be in the hunt to replace Zach Follett after Follett graduates after this season.  Price will probably play the same blitzing linebacker position that Follett currently occupies.  He has two years to play two seasons after using a redshirt season at Blinn.

Montgomery leaves Cal

Posted by Alex | April 8, 2008 at 8:15 am | In Players/Alumni, Quarterback, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Originally posted on March 18: Jonathan Okanes over at BearTalk reports that James Montgomery is leaving Cal. At one point, Montgomery was listed as the starting running back for the 2008 Bears offense. Fortunately, the Bears have plenty of depth at running back though it is highly untested.

EDIT by ERIC 3/27: Walk-on QB Bryan Van Meter has decided to leave the team to try rugby. Van Meter would likely have been a backup behind (in no particular order) Kevin Riley, Nate Longshore, and redshirt freshman Brock Mansion.

EDIT by ERIC 4/1: More on Montgomery’s situation in our Spring update.

EDIT by ERIC 4/8: Sadly, Montgomery’s hopes to become a Florida Gator did not work out — he has decided on the Cougars with a verbal commitment to Washington State. Montgomery will have to sit out one year, according to NCAA transfer rules.

Gameday shirt, open practice and sale

Posted by Eric | April 6, 2008 at 6:55 pm | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Cal has released the 2008 Game Day shirt, available online for pre-order. It features a “Every Game Counts” tagline, which I think is a little goofy, and lists the home schedule on the back. The shirt will also be available for sale during the Open Practice on April 12 at noon (Cal Day).

In addition, Cal will hold a surplus sale that morning, beginning at 9 a.m. Last year, I picked up a bunch of Cal football shirts, shorts, and shoes at bargain prices. It is definitely worth a look if you are in the area.

The media on UCLA

Posted by Eric | October 20, 2007 at 2:08 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Cal helmetUCLA helmet

ESPN: “Top 25 Overview”

Hard to believe, considering it lost to Notre Dame, but UCLA is ahead of Cal in the Pac-10 standings. The Golden Bears are looking to rebound after suffering their first loss of the season, while UCLA hopes to start the second half of its season on the right foot.

USA Today: “Weekend Preview”

No. 9 California can get itself right back into the Pac-10 title discussion with a win at conference co-leader UCLA, which has played its two worst games against non-conference opponents. The Bruins got a week off to heal, which could enable QB Patrick Cowan (knee) to return. If he has full mobility, he should help RB Kahlil Bell find rushing lanes, but LB Anthony Felder and the Cal defense will be in no mood to give any ground.

The Golden Bears could also get their signal-caller, Nate Longshore (ankle), back, but freshman Kevin Riley will be ready if needed. Cal will need a big game from RB Justin Forsett to neutralize the rush from UCLA DE Bruce Davis.

Bruce Feldman: “Week 8 picks”

Cal 28, UCLA 17: The Golden Bears do not have much of a defense, but their stellar trio of receivers and speedy backs should be too much for a UCLA team still trying to find itself. The Bruins should be able to move the ball, but I think they just don’t have enough playmakers to beat the Bears in a game of big plays.

College Football News: “Pac 10 Fearless Predictions”

The Pac-10 game of the week pits two of the five programs that have separated from the rest of the field in the hunt for a spot in the Rose Bowl. And two teams that have been saddled recently with injuries at the quarterback position. …

With or without Longshore, the Bears will be able to move the ball through the air on a UCLA pass defense that’s allowing 242 yards a game. Before making a mental mistake at the end of last week’s loss, Riley actually played well … and has a dynamic receiving corps that’ll burn a questionable Bruins secondary. A Cal line that’s permitted the fewest sacks in the Pac-10 will neutralize DE Bruce Davis and a very aggressive UCLA pass rush. …

Save for the Utah debacle in Week 3, the Bruins defense has been rock solid all year, holding opponents to an average of 23 points and 324 yards a game, while consistently making plays for negative yards. … a UCLA rush defense that’s No. 10 in the country at only 81 yards a game. …

Cal will rebound from last week’s loss against a UCLA team that’s way too inconsistent and struggling with quarterback issues of its own. The Bears will click on a couple of deep balls from either Riley or Longshore to pull away from the Bruins. CFN Prediction: California 34 … UCLA 21

ESPN’s “College Football Live” (TV):

Another odd conference leader: UCLA has been ugly at times [but] they haven’t lost a Pac-10 game yet. …

UCLA has been real inconsistent and I think that Cal’s looking for a little bit of redemption. I’d like to see Kevin Riley get in there and be able make up for that terrible terrible decision at the end of the game last week. You’d like to see him get in there. And this is a very talented Cal team… one of those teams, really, if we see some losses up there at the top like we were discussing earlier … [if] we see some losses up there at the top this is the kind of team that could sneak in with that one loss to the national champion picture.  [/jyu]

Memorial Stadium a scary place for opponents?

Posted by Alex | October 1, 2007 at 1:15 pm | In Uncategorized | 4 Comments

According to ESPN’s Bruce Feldman, Cal’s Memorial Stadium is the 10th scariest place to play in the nation.

10. Cal, Memorial Stadium
Autzen Stadium is probably noisier than Cal’s Memorial Stadium, but there is a little magic to this quirky place. Since 2003, the Bears have faced five ranked teams at home and knocked off four, including an upset of USC in 2003 by a then-unranked Cal squad. Of course, Jeff Tedford deserves plenty of credit for that, too.

This mention shows Cal’s growing home field advantage. Though not normally mentioned as a difficult place to visiting teams to play, Cal continues to have great home seasons each year. Hopefully that trend continues this season with USC at home.

Tennessee QB update

Posted by Alex | August 29, 2007 at 8:58 pm | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

According to ESPN, Tennessee QB Erik Ainge has a broken pinky on his throwing hand. He is still expected to start for the game, with backup sophomore QB Jonathan Crompton ready to step in.

While reports show that Ainge seems to be throwing fine, it seems like a broken pinky would have a significant effect on how Ainge throws the ball. This is an unfortunate injury as it would have been good to see the Bears play the Vols at their best. The Vols will now be missing their starting RB (Larry Coker), and will be playing with a hurt QB.

ESPN GameDay in Berkeley

Posted by Alex | May 13, 2007 at 9:34 pm | In Uncategorized | 10 Comments

HUGE news. ESPN GameDay will reportedly be in Berkeley on 9/1/07 for the Cal-Tennessee game. reports that ESPN has chosen Berkeley to host this staple college football show from the Berkeley campus because of the spectacular matchup that this game offers. The probable location on campus will be on Sproul Plaza which will offer pre-game festivities, though it is not actually close to the stadium. I would wager that Maxwell Family Field is also being considered, though there is no report of this at all, since it is right next to the action.

Why is this so big? This offers national exposure for the Bears, and not just for the football team. It gives a chance for the nation to see how much the fans and students support the team and to show great enthusiasm. Also, potential recruits will be able to see how much the community gathers around the team and how lively the campus is. Basically, the show will be broadcasting all day long from Berkeley. Cal fans, be ready to bring your excitement and support to show the nation what Cal football is about.

Today: final spring practice

Posted by Eric | April 14, 2007 at 7:34 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Today is the final practice of spring, open to the public at 2pm. I believe the first 1000 get burritos.

Again the practice will not be a scrimmage but it will feature some 11 on 11 drills. Here’s a video released by Cal about the event.

Rule changes

Posted by Eric | April 13, 2007 at 10:02 am | In Uncategorized | 2 Comments

First of all, the two rule changes implemented last year that most coaches (including Coach Tedford) opposed are being eliminated.

  • The clock will once again stop on possession changes
  • The clock will no longer start when the ball touches the kicker’s foot, but when the receiving team touches the football on kickoffs

These 2006 changes were shortening games by about 14 plays on average, so this is good news. There’s also some new rules:

  • Kickoffs will now be from the 30 yard (instead of the 35 yard line)
  • Teams will get 10 seconds less after a TV time out
  • The playclock may have less time following a stoppage of the game clock (pending)

This should increase the game-changing potency of kickoff returns. Think much fewer touchbacks and many more exciting returns. Here’s an article with more details about the changes.

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